Denise contributes to the development of wellbeing in education and the workplace through her research, programme development and face-to-face consulting and training. She founded the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience with fellow academic Dr Lucy Hone to ensure the promotion of wellbeing was backed by rigorous scientific evidence. Denise has published in international journals and book chapters on topics of positive psychology, resilience and well-being. She is the developer of the Awesome Us strengths programme, successfully shown to enhance student well-being, engagement for learning, relatedness, and class climate. She has worked with schools in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, developed programmes for university student well-being, and lectures in strengths-based approaches at Masters level.
Denise has a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and a PhD focused on well-being in education from the University of Otago, Dunedin.